Monday, April 8, 2013

The Lowest Kind of Jew Hatred: Silencing The Holocaust

Over and over we hear the slogan "I'm not antisemitic, I'm anti Zionist" - let me clarify one thing at the start - if you are "anti Israel's policies" then that does not make you antisemitic, but as soon as you say you declare that you are anti the very concept of Jews having a state (antizionist) then, yes, you are almost certainly an antisemite.

In any case, today is Israel's holocaust memorial day, known as Yom HaShoa. Its a day when radio's play no music, flags fly at half mast, and just minutes ago, at 10am here in Israel, sirens sound for two minutes and the entire country stood, heads bowed, on buses, airports, shopping factories, during meetings, in makes no difference, all citizens of the Jewish state share the collective pain of the methodical slaughter of 6,000,000 Jews by the Nazis. The loss of almost half of all the Jews living at that time is still felt today and always will be in this country forged by survivors: Last night six aging survivors lit memorial flames at the national memorial 
ceremony. These six people had settled in Israel after the war and between them had around 12 children, 30 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. How many Jews were never born because of the loss of the 6,000,000? What contributions to Judaism, art, literature, science and world economy would those 60 or 70 million people have made? We mourn this too. It is unfathomable that the Holocaust would not be deeply ingrained into the national psyche of the Jewish people, and of course the Jewish state and beggars belief that anyone should not understand and respect this, or worse could resent it.

Turn then to our enemies, who use holocaust and Nazi imagery to describe so many debates conflicts or clashes they have with Israel and Zionism: Minor's arrested for stone throwing = Fascist Zionists; Israel returns Hamas fire = Nazi genocide; Gaza =  a concentration camp; Bibi is compared with Hitler and so on. If this cheapening of what the holocaust was and stealing its imagery for propaganda against Jews were not enough, yesterday (on the eve of Holocaust day)  we saw Israel's enemies launch a cyber attack on Israel called 'Op Israel' - admittedly this effort was an embarrassing failure for the not so 'anonymous' hackers, but never the less, it is telling that their tagline was "silencing Israel" and their websites did not contain political messages, but extreme Islamic ones. What was sickening is that one of the handful of websites they managed to bring down was an NGO working with children with cancer, and the most extreme effort of the day was against Yad Vashem, the holocaust memorial & educational organization. They wanted to bring down the world's most important holocaust site hours before Yom HaShoa - how is that political? How is that about building a Palestinian future? It is an attack not on Israel - it is an attack on the Jewish people, an effort to tell them that 70 years after the holocaust, there are still people out there that want Jews gone, that they want talk of the holocaust silenced. 

Perhaps they fear the images of a people little more than walking skeletons in 1945, beating the combined arab armies 3 years later in Israel? Perhaps the religious Islamists see the hand of G-d in the Jews remarkable survival and subsequent success and they seek to dispel their fear with denial. I don't know, but I do know that stealing the holocaust, using its imagery against the Jewish state and worse seeking to deny it occurred, silencing it's websites - essentially attempt to rip the holocaust away from the Jewish people, I know that this has nothing to do with Israel & The Palestinians, nothing to do with final agreements or settlements - it is hatred of Jews and anything that may give the wider world an understanding of the Jewish people - it  is antisemitism in its purest, Jew hating form.

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